Learn how to grow bluebonnets. Growing and planting bluebonnets is easy as they support a wide range of adverse conditions.
USDA Zones— 4 – 10
Other Names— Lupinus Texensis, Buffalo Clover, Texas Bluebonnet, Texas Lupine
Where do Bluebonnets Grow?
Wild and beautiful, bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas. They cover the many roads and uncultivated areas of Texas in a shade of lush, blue in spring and summer. Texas Bluebonnets are easy to grow. They do not require much fertilization, the watering requirement is minimum and are drought tolerant. However, besides these low maintenance qualities, seed germination rate of blue bonnets is low – which may take up to a year if not accelerated by scarification.
When to Plant Bluebonnets?
In Texas, bluebonnets are planted in the late fall, the plant grows deep roots and overwinter and starts to bloom in spring. But in cooler zones, sow seeds in spring after the last frost date has been passed. Optimum bluebonnets planting and germination soil temperature is between 55 – 70 F (12 – 20 C).
Grow bluebonnets from cuttings. You can also grow them from seeds, but it is difficult as the outer shell of the bluebonnet seed is hard, which it makes it difficult for germination.
For planting bluebonnets seeds, buy those that are chemically treated and already scarified. Otherwise, scarify the seeds yourself. For this, rub the seeds against sandpaper or nick through the seed coat with a sharp knife. Without scarifying, only about 20 percent of seeds will germinate. Sow seeds 1/4 inches deep in a seed tray, seeds usually take 10 to 12 days to germinate. You can also plant bluebonnets seeds directly into the garden.
*For faster germination, soak seeds for 24 hours before sowing.
Once the seedlings are ready for transplant. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball of the young plant, pull weeds growing across the planting area and remove other debris.
Place the plant in and fill up the hole with soil. Make sure the root ball is at the same depth as it was in the previous pot. Space the plants 10-12 inches apart.
Requirements for Growing Bluebonnets
Growing bluebonnets in dry and sunniest spot in your garden that is sloppy is optimal, at least, 6 hours of sun is required. Bluebonnets can be grown in raised flower beds, containers and hanging baskets.
Adapted to well draining, dry and poor to moderately fertile soil, bluebonnets never do well in moist and rich soil, which causes the floppy growth of the plant and fewer flowers. It is best to use ordinary garden soil that is neutral to slightly alkaline, amended by compost and sand for good drainage.
*Bluebonnets grow best in well-draining soil. Poorly drained soils can stunt the plant growth.
Bluebonnet is a typical Texas plant, it is drought tolerant and grows well in dry soil. It is better to do the light watering and never overwater. Allow the soil to dry out between the watering spells.
Fertilizer is not required for bluebonnets but you can feed bluebonnets with a light dose of all-purpose fertilizer in the spring if your plants are weak. This will help them produce flowers prolifically.
Pests and Diseases
Bluebonnets are not much susceptible to diseases but pests like pill bugs, snails and slugs may attack the plant.
Gather the pods if you plan to grow the plant from seed next year. Leave the pods to dry and then open and remove the seeds. Collect and store the seeds in a safe location.